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This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 25, 2008 - DENVER - It's possible that somewhere in this mile-high city, the well-choreographed Barack Obama campaign has assigned a team to chant against rain on Thursday night. That's when Obama visits INVESCO Field to accept the Democratic nomination for president. 

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 25, 2008 - Hello. My name is Akeam Ashford, and I will be joining thousands of Americans in Denver as an elected delegate for Hillary Clinton from Springfield, Mo.

I am a junior at Missouri State University where I major in broadcast journalism with a minor in public administration. I grew up in University City but went to McCluer North High School.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 25, 2008 - Ameren UE's pursuit of a second nuclear power plant should be viewed by environmentalist opponents as a challenge and an opportunity. To see why, let's start with a menu of pro and con arguments.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 23, 2008 - SPRINGFIELD – A crowd of 35,000 on Saturday got the nation's first glimpse at the man U.S. Sen. Barack Obama tapped as his running mate.

News broke early Saturday morning that U.S. Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., would join Obama on the Democratic ticket.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 23, 2008 - By selecting Sen. Joe Biden as his running mate, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama has added foreign policy experience to his ticket as well as help in winning a key state, according to an expert on the vice presidency. But Republican leaders in Missouri immediately pounced on the choice of Biden, D-Del., and said he would do little to help Obama win over voters in Missouri.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 22, 2008 - What a difference a river can make for homeowners facing foreclosure.

For residents of Illinois, a judicial foreclosure state, the legal process can take nearly a year because it is administered through the courts. In Missouri, the process can take as few as 60 days because the majority of foreclosures are nonjudicial, completed without going to court but in accordance with state law and the terms of the mortgage.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 21, 2008 - The Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday that it would put new rules in place in 30 days to take away funding from more than 584,000 hospitals, clinics, health plans, doctors' offices and providers if they refuse to accommodate workers personal, moral or religious objections.

"People should not be forced to say or do things they believe are morally wrong," Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt said. "Health-care workers should not be forced to provide services that violate their violates their own conscience."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 20, 2008 - The final Olympic gold medals are not the only assets up for grabs in Beijing. On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of  the Treasury Henry Paulson discussed the need for constant engagement with China in a phone interview organized by the Council on Foreign Relations.

Paulson was instrumental in fostering official channels of contact with China in the form of a U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED). In an article, "A Strategic Economic Engagement," Paulson discussed how the SED lays the framework for the next president to engage with China on all issues.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 20, 2008 - When Wachovia Corp. bought A.G. Edwards last year, many financial analysts said the deal reflected another major step in the extinction of regional brokerages.

A.G. Edwards' management and stockholders decided that independence was strategically insupportable, but other St. Louis brokerages still embrace their freedom.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 20, 2008 - The XXIX Summer Olympiad will conclude shortly. This worldwide convocation of individual excellence was convened in Beijing to allow humankind to reach consensus as to which teen-age anorexic can do the best back-flip. The Chinese government paid more than $40 billion to host the event. As the ancient Roman, Juvenal, noted, the people hunger for "bread and circuses."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 20, 2008 - Despite numerous changes to communications over the past half century, the focus of presidential campaign coverage in the U.S. remains the same. It's the horserace: Who is ahead? Who may catch up? But other aspects have changed. More information and information of different types are available to the voter. Yet, whether voters are really better informed is open to question.

Secretary of state prepares to certify election

Aug 19, 2008

This article first appeared in The Beacon: August 19, 2008 - On Tuesday afternoon -- two weeks after the Aug. 5 primary election -- Missouri's counties turned in their final results for the Democratic race for attorney general to the secretary of state's office for certification. The numbers will be released on Tues., Aug. 26 on the secretary of state's website.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 19, 2008- Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain were recently asked which members of the Supreme Court they wouldn't have named. Obama listed Justice Thomas and Antonin Scalia and Chief Justice John Roberts. McCain listed the four most liberal members of the court - Justices David H. Souter, John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 18, 2008 - On paper and in person, from one end of the state to the other, Amy Blouin is trying to get out the word that, notwithstanding the rosy fiscal picture painted by Gov. Matt Blunt and many other Republicans, it is not morning in Missouri. She says the governor seems to wake up to a Missouri that's very different than the one many residents experience or worry about. Theirs is a morning of getting up on the wrong side of the bed -- with anxiety over job insecurity and overdue mortgages, vanishing health benefits and price shock at the gas pump, the kind of morning that seems to escape the governor.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 18, 2008 - Yeah, I'm here. No, I'm not doing anything. Just driving.

Except of course driving is something, and a very dangerous something with cell phone to ear, according to an alderman in Town and Country.

Commentary: Got diversity?

Aug 17, 2008

This article fist appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 17, 2008 - How do you measure diversity? Some would quickly say it's a numbers game. But is that the whole story? If we had the "ideal" mix of people, but those people just coexisted in the same space, would that be diversity?

OK, enough with the questions. I want to suggest that we consider multiple aspects of "diversity." Social psychologist Patricia Gurin and colleagues have differentiated between structural, classroom and interactional diversity.

Will whites vote for Barack Obama?

Aug 15, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 15, 2008 - Danny Sanders says he has seen the face of racism first hand.

"My dad was from Arkansas, and he hated black people," said the retired St. Louis baker and Vietnam veteran, who was fishing for catfish this week at Carondelet Park. "And a long time ago, I used to feel the same way.

"But I have changed.

"People do change, you know?"

Donnelly will seek a recount in the AG race

Aug 15, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 15, 2008- State Rep. Margaret Donnelly of Richmond Heights has announced that she will formally request a statewide recount of the Aug. 5 primary election to become the Democratic attorney general nominee. Tabulations show that Donnelly lost to state Sen. Chris Koster by a margin of 0.2 percent, or 783 votes, according to the Missouri secretary of state's website.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 15, 2008 - Wachovia Corp. has agreed to buy back from investors about $8.8 billion in controversial securities, settling allegations that its St. Louis-based brokerage unit misrepresented the ease with which consumers could get their money.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 14, 2008 - You're driving down I-44 about an hour south of St. Louis. You glance at another dead opossum by the side of the road.

Look again. These days that possum is very likely to be an armadillo.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 14, 2008 - The 2008 presidential election campaign marks a watershed in the development of the Internet as a force in American politics. Previously, the Net was touted as having the potential to shape politics and government in the same way that it altered commerce. However, its promise to change politics was never quite fulfilled -- at least, not until the current presidential election.

Some might assert that this development represents a democratizing trend. However, there are troubling aspects that warrant attention by both the public and policymakers.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 13, 2oo8 - Hand it to John Edwards, he knows how to quell a rumor. Previously mentioned as a possible running mate for Barack Obama, the former senator recently admitted to an extra-marital affair with a campaign videographer. This moral lapse occurred after his wife's first bout with breast cancer, thus dropping him several slots below Jimmy Hoffa on the list of Democratic V.P. hopefuls.

Analysis: Who lost in Georgia?

Aug 12, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 12, 2008 - The brutal military conflict in Georgia over this past week has left many people puzzled and dismayed. How could this happen? Who was responsible? It turns out to be an old story of fear, miscalculation, hubris and tragedy, with the United States playing a significant role.

Vacation at home: Day 1

Aug 12, 2008
Rachel Heidenry | The Beacon

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 12, 2008 - We know it's vacation, but today you've got to get up early because we've got a full day planned. Think of this day as a substitute for that all-inclusive Mayan Riviera resort.

This post first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 11, 2008 - On Monday, the crisis in Georgia continued to escalate. Russia opened a new military front by taking over an army base in Abkhazia, a pro-Russian separatist enclave, while Georgians struggled to recover the separatist region of South Ossetia. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili accused Russia of "ethnic cleansing," and Russia ignored Georgia's offer of a ceasefire. Questions loom as to how far the Russian army will penetrate Georgia proper.

Map by Brent Jones, data from Missouri Secretary of State

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, August 8, 2008 - A less than scintillating ballot -- not the heat -- is most to blame for an election day turnout that saw fewer than one in five registered voters casting primary ballots in Missouri on Tuesday, says a St. Louis authority on the American electorate.

This post first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 8, 2008 - Fred Baron - a well-known toxic torts trial lawyer from Dallas - told the Dallas Morning News that he had paid for housing and relocation expenses for Rielle Hunter, the videographer John Edwards admits was his mistress.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 8, 2008 - Unlike many of their predecessors, this year's vice-presidential candidates won't be chosen primarily because they're from a large state or to balance the ticket's geography or philosophy. They'll be chosen because they're presidential.

Bin Laden's driver gets light sentence - 66 months

Aug 7, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 7, 2008 - The military panel of six officers deliberated for about an hour before returning the lighter than expected sentence for providing material support for terrorism. The government had asked for a sentence of 30 years and said that the life sentence prosecutors had sought earlier would be appropriate.  The defense recommended 45 months.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 7, 2008 - As state Rep. Margaret Donnelly's campaign waits for the secretary of state's certification of Tuesday's primary results, state Sen. Chris Koster, D-Harrisonville, is forging ahead as the Democratic nominee for attorney general.

"After such a hard-fought campaign, a very close race, Rep. Donnelly is entitled to this personal decision," said Koster's spokesperson Danny Kanner. "That said, Sen. Koster has built a coalition and is now moving forward as the Democratic Party's nominee."

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